Nearly a century ago, the sapphire stretch of the Côte d’Azur between Menton and Saint-Tropez became a playground, backdrop, and endless source of inspiration to artists and writers including Zelda and F. Scott Fitzgerald, Pablo Picasso, Salvador Dalí, Dora Maar and Man Ray.
Inspired by this bohemian generation of creatives who sought the dazzle of sun and sea in a bid for a more free-spirited way of life, The Azure Collection captures the imaginative energies and nonchalant elegance of this glamorous era. It launches in June 2023 with a number of signature OvH pieces reimagined in bold prints and coastal-hued shades, and ushers in new designs including the square-necked Icon slip dress and Calypso camisole set.
During the roaring twenties, the popular resort Juan-les-Pins near Antibes acquired a new nickname: ‘pyjamaland.’ The craze for beach pyjamas was at its height, and a new jet set drifted over the sand in billowing palazzo trousers. Up and down the coast, fishing villages and grand hotels alike enticed a libertine generation pursuing pleasure and freedom. From the glitz of Cannes to the pastel charms of Villefranche-sur-Mer, the region became a socially permissive hotbed of creativity and relaxation. This season, OvH pays homage to these twin forces, combining a surrealist artistic sensibility with the seductive promise of all-out leisure. Screen-printed pools and palm trees rub shoulders with sky blue robes, checkered eye-masks, and silk pyjamas emblazoned with an exclusive new logo pattern reminiscent of an artist’s signature.
‘Pyjamaland’ comes back to life in the Alabama set, featuring a palazzo pant and short sleeve combination ideal for afternoons spent overlooking the water (or enjoying a long lunch at the Hotel La Ponche). Another summer-ready set is introduced in the form of the Kick, its crisp oversized shirt and shorts a welcome uniform in the Mediterranean heat. The Calypso camisole set is equally breezy. A chic update on the classic OvH Indya, its understated silhouette and branded shorts recall the casual sensuality of George Hoyningen-Huene’s athletic photos.
This season’s vivacious prints nod to a range of influences, from the splashy colours employed by painter and prolific textile designer Sonia Delaunay to the extraordinary interiors found in homes like the Villa Santo Sospir, which featured a series of wall murals painted by Jean Cocteau. Retaining those inimitable Olivia von Halle hallmarks including mother of pearl buttons and luxurious fabrics (including an appropriately airy silk cotton blend), an additional American sportswear inflected note is found in the introduction of visible labels on select designs. Fit for work, play and dedicated lounging, The Azure Collection forms the ultimate ode to sun-soaked days and sultry nights filled with the gentle hum of cicadas.